Jan. 10, 2017
"The Stack" 1-9-17
The Stack is back on this Monday and NFL Wild Card weekend is in the rearview mirror. Some people consider the divisional round of the NFL playoffs the best week of the NFL season. We shall soon see. How did we get here though? Let’s get right to it and see what happened in the wild card round in “the stack” for today, Monday, January 9th:
Texans 27 Raiders 14
The Oakland Raiders did their best to ease Connor Cook into the game, but the Texans were ready for it. Jadaveon Clowney had a big interception in the first quarter and that was pretty much the end of it. The Raiders did not run the ball as much as they should have. Brock Osweiler was OK, but the Texans will need a herculean effort from everyone if they want to beat the Patriots. They did their job against the Raiders who have to feel snake bitten with how these season ended after it was going so good.
Seahawks 26 Lions 6
This was a close game for most of the way, but the Lions could not get past the Seahawks. Whether that was because of a bad play call on a fourth and a couple of punts when they should have gone for it. The officials didn’t do a great job in this one either. On the Seahawks first touchdown, it appeared that Paul Richardson grabbed the facemask of the Lions defender, but no call was made. The Seahawks poured it on late. Thomas Rawls had a big day rushing the football and scored a touchdown for the Seahawks and they limited the Lions offense. Lions fans can only help but wonder what might have been if Matthew Stafford hadn’t injured his middle finger on his throwing hand.
Steelers 30 Dolphins 12
Big scoring plays early in this game doomed the Dolphins. Antonio Brown had a couple of long touchdowns and Le’Veon Bell controlled the game rushing the football and scoring two additional touchdowns. This was the first playoff game for the three B’s (Big Ben, Brown and Bell) and they came through with flying colors. Have to wonder if you’re a Dolphins fan if Ryan Tannehill had been playing if this game would have been any different. I’m going to say no. Now comes the bigger test for the Steelers…the Chiefs.
Packers 38 Giants 13
The Giants controlled this game for much of the first half and yet only found themselves up 6-0. A short punt later, Aaron Rodgers with all of the time in the world found Devante Adams for a touchdown and the Packers were up 7-6. The Giants made a boneheaded decision to go for it with Bobby Rainey in the backfield on a third down play instead of having Rashad Jennings or Paul Perkins in and were forced to punt. The Packers would go on to win this game before halftime even started when Rodgers threw up a Hail Mary on fourth down with two seconds left and Randall Cobb caught it. Unbelievable throw. Unbelievable way to end the first half. Momentum was all with the Packers and though the Giants got within one, Rodgers responded and the Giants never recovered. This Packers team is dangerous and now they go down to take on the Cowboys. Think a few people might watch that game?
College Football Playoff National Championship game (Tampa, FL)
Clemson vs. Alabama 8 PM ET ESPN
It’s the first rematch in back-to-back national championship games in college football history. Clemson has been waiting all year for another chance at Alabama and they get their chance tonight. They thought they should have beat Alabama last year. The Crimson Tide of course are without Lane Kiffin calling offensive plays for them. Steve Sarkisian will take his spot. Alabama did not look impressive offensively against Washington while Clemson looked absolutely impressive in their shutout win over Ohio State. If Alabama scores a defensive or special teams touchdown, they win this game. They’ll still probably win. As much as I think Deshaun Watson and Clemson is going to have success and play lights out football, this Alabama team is special. Their defense is great and until they lose in this spot, it’s tough to pick against them. I don’t want to, but I am.
Prediction: Alabama 27 Clemson 24
Coming up Tuesday: National Championship game reaction plus other top headlines in sports